Nonresident Fathers’ Parenting, Maternal Mastery and Child Development in Poor African American Single-Mother Families


This study examines the relationships between and among economic hardship, mothers’ depressive symptoms, nonresident fathers’
parenting, mothers’ parenting and mastery, and their children’s behavioral and cognitive development in poor African American
single-mother families. Informed by stress-coping and family process theoretical perspectives, this study estimates the effects
of nonresident fathers’ parenting and maternal mastery on child developmental outcomes. Analyses use the first three waves
of longitudinal data from a subsample of single, African American and noncohabiting mothers with low income in the Fragile
Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Results suggest that nonresident fathers’ parenting is indirectly associated with children’s
behavior problems and cognitive development transmitted through mothers’ parenting and mastery. Maternal mastery is also found
to be one of the most influential predictors of both developmental outcomes of children. Policy and practice implications
of these findings are discussed.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Pages 1-10
  • DOI 10.1007/s12552-012-9070-x
  • Authors
    • Jeong-Kyun Choi, Department of Social Work, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Winona State University, 175 West Mark Street, Winona, MN 55987, USA
    • Aurora P. Jackson, Department of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles, 3250 School of Public Affairs Building, Box 951656, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656, USA
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